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Warning over high-voltage e-cigarettes

| May 20, 2014

High-voltage e-cigarettes might expose users to increased levels of toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, according to research led by Maciej Goniewicz, Ph.D., Pharm.D., a researcher in the Department of Health Behavior at the U.S.’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).

The study was published online by Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Some e-cigarettes allow the user to change the voltage of the device to increase vapor production and nicotine delivery; so Goniewicz and colleagues examined the various chemicals in vapors generated from the same e-cigarette but at variable voltages.

They found that when an e-cigarette was operated at lower voltage, the vapors generated contained only traces of some toxic chemicals.

These compounds included formaldehyde, a known carcinogen; acetaldehyde, which is considered a possible carcinogen to humans; and two chemicals known to irritate nasal, lung and/or mucous tissues, acrolein and acetone.

But when the voltage was increased, the levels of toxicants increased significantly.

“These results suggest that some types of e-cigarettes might expose their users to the same or even higher levels of carcinogenic formaldehyde than [does] tobacco smoke,” said Goniewicz.

“Users of high-voltage e-cigarettes need to be warned about this increased risk of harmful effects.”

White Cloud demonstrates U.S. credentials

| May 20, 2014

U.S.-based White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes has launched ClearDraw2, “a radical reinvention of the traditional e-cigarette cartridge.”

According to a press note issued through PRNewswire, the proprietary new design “eliminates the industry-standard cotton filler and narrow airflow chambers, giving users more e-liquid per cartridge, and more flavor and vapor with every puff.”

The design of ClearDraw2 will mean that White Cloud will be able to fill its cartridges at its new manufacturing facility in Tampa, Florida.

This in turn will mean that White Cloud will be one of the only—if not the only—e-cigarette companies both to offer 100 percent USA-made flavored e-liquid and to fill its cartridges entirely in the U.S.

About 4,900 jobs to go as Sampoerna looks to axe two hand-rolling plants

| May 19, 2014

Sampoerna said on Friday that it planned to restructure its hand-rolled kretek cigarette (SKT) manufacturing operations in Indonesia, a development that would “impact” about 4,900 employees.

“The company has decided to discontinue the production in its SKT manufacturing facilities in Jember and Lumajang as of 31 May 2014, while at the same time continue to focus its SKT production at the five remaining production facilities, namely Surabaya (Rungkut I, Rungkut II and Taman Sampoerna), Malang and Probolinggo,” said a note posted on the website of Philip Morris International, which acquired Sampoerna in May 2005.

“Regretfully, this restructuring means that approximately 4,900 employees at [the] Jember and Lumajang manufacturing facilities will be impacted by the shutdown.”

Maharani Subandhi, corporate secretary at Sampoerna, said the decision to close the two facilities had been “extremely difficult” to take.

“We understand that this is unfortunate news for all of our employees, particularly those who are directly impacted in Jember and Lumajang SKT manufacturing facilities.

“Our priority today is to provide them with the best possible support and assistance during this difficult time. Those affected by this decision will receive severance package[s] above legal requirements, including Idul Fitri (THR) bonus. In addition, we will provide them with [the] opportunity to participate in the entrepreneurship training program to assist them in finding new source[s] of income.”

In April, PMI said Philip Morris Holland (PMH) had announced that it planned to end cigarette production at its factory at Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, with the loss of about 1,230 jobs.

And the announcement of the proposed Bergen op Zoom closure, which is due to happen by October, followed hard on the heels of Philip Morris Limited’s decision to stop cigarette manufacturing in Australia by the end of this year, with the loss of about 180 jobs at its factory at Moorabbin, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.

The full text of the Indonesian announcement is at http://www.pmi.com/eng/media_center/press_releases/Pages/pt_hm_sampoerna_tbk.aspx.

Petition calls for more relaxed attitude to public-places smoking in Russia

| May 19, 2014

About 100,000 signatures have been collected on a petition calling for Russian lawmakers to backpedal on the country’s smoking ban, according to a RT TV/TV Novosti report.

An anti-tobacco law was approved in February 2013 and came into effect on June 1 last year.

However, restrictions are being introduced gradually, so that, since last summer, smoking has been outlawed in certain public places, including educational, health-care and sports facilities, airports, railway stations and bus stops.

The strictest part of the law comes into force on June 1, when smoking cigarettes will be banned in hotels, cafés, restaurants, marketplaces and on passenger trains and ships.

The Association of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia that unites more than 3,000 food and beverage establishments is demanding that the ban on smoking in restaurants, cafés and bars be postponed, amended or dropped.

The association and the all-Russia movement “For the rights of smokers” have drafted a list of amendments as well as launching the petition.

“In our country, for the majority of the year, the temperatures stand at below zero; making the guests go outside to smoke in the cold is just inhuman,” the association’s lawyer, Maria Orlova, was quoted as having told the Izvestia newspaper.

But Elena Mazur, the corporate communication director of the Rosinter Restaurants network, believes that customers won’t stay away for too long.

“We haven’t increased the number of places on the summer terraces, and haven’t resorted to any special measures,” she said.

Mazur said she believed that customers would have got used to the smoking ban by September and would return to restaurants.

Coresta Congress abstracts due Friday

| May 19, 2014

The deadline for the submission of abstracts of presentations to the 2014 Coresta Congress is Friday, according to the congress’ organizing committee.

The congress is due to be held at the Château Frontenac, Québec City, Canada, on Oct. 12–16.

The theme of the congress is “Building on experience to shape the future.”

The deadline for the early registration rate is Aug. 1, and the deadline for online registration is Sept. 15.

Poland to challenge EU menthol ban

| May 16, 2014

Polish officials are expected to try to block the ban on menthol cigarettes included as part of the EU’s new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which is due to come into force on May 20.

A story in the Warsaw Business Journal said that under the new TPD, sales of menthol cigarettes would be banned in the EU from 2020.

It said that Poland was one of the biggest tobacco producers in the EU and such a ban would strongly affect it.

Poland was currently working on an appeal to be filed with the EU’s Court of Justice. The Journal noted that an anonymous source quoted by the Puls Biznesu daily had said the Polish government wanted to demonstrate that the TPD was based on unsound legal grounds.

The source said the effect that the measure would have on internal markets was out of proportion to the benefits of curbing the health risk caused by smoking.

The Puls Biznesu indicated that such an appeal could be submitted to the Court before the EU elections scheduled for May 25.

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